How do you fight an enemy you can’t see? In this field guide to defense against the demonic, Adam Blai, an expert in religious demonology and exorcism for the diocese of Pittsburgh, shares information and advice gained over years of extensive experience with the paranormal. Review the scriptural evidence about demons—who were cast down to earth, not hell—and the tricks they play to try to gain influence in our lives. You’ll also discover the tools the Church has developed for us to combat and resist the forces of evil. Written in an easy-to-read style, this book is perfect for the Catholic looking to learn more about the invisible forces hell-bent on the destruction of your soul—and how to claim the victory Christ has already won.
Adam Blai is a Peritus of religious demonology and exorcism for the Pittsburgh diocese. He has been an auxiliary member of the International Association of Exorcists in Rome for a number of years. A regular instructor for the Te Deum Institute of Sacred Liturgy in the Tulsa diocese, Blai provides training for exorcists nationally. He has a Master's in Psychology and has done most of his professional psychological work in forensic settings. Blai is currently working full-time for the Pittsburgh diocese and providing assistance to a number of other dioceses.
This book is written by Adam Blai, a clinical psychologist and peritus of the Roman Catholic Church in exorcism. The various classifications of demonic activity are covered (e.g. infestation, oppression, and possession) along with human spirit hauntings. The author’s personal journey into this vital ministry is also covered.
Mr. Blai is in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and is a graduate of Penn State University.
This is not an easy topic to write on as the title itself conjures up images from that famous 1973 movie with the spinning head and people being flung against the wall by unseen forces. In this book, Adam Blai has skilfully presented his research in an almost clinical manner, supporting it when necessary, by personal experiences, interactions and case studies. He has painstakingly avoided details in each study that would give this book a ‘scare factor’, which I greatly appreciated (since my readings for leisure were mostly done at night, right before bed!) Instead, what I got out of this book are rich throve of information about Satan and his dominion, food for thought and ideas about the state of our soul and salvation that I will no doubt be contemplating on for a long time.
They say, ‘ignorance is bliss’ and indeed those words were floating in my head while I debated on whether to purchase the book. Do I really want to know about spiritual warfare or should I live out my life and faith ‘blissfully’ unware of the battle for my soul? In this case, I would argue that ‘ignorance’ is not bliss. Just as knowledge of germ warfare (e.g. bacterial/viral infections) arm us with the ability to then take preventive and healing measures to restore our health, basic knowledge about spiritual possessions and circumstances leading to possession will similarly enable us to keep our spiritual health in check. More importantly, the single message that is so prominent in this book is that God has authority over all and a faith that is in communion with Lord has nothing to fear.
Trained exorcist and Catholic Demonologist, Adam Blai begins his short (144 pages) but comprehensive book with the fundamental concepts of mental and medical illness as opposed to spiritual maladies to establish a clear understanding of the presence of the demonic. This approach was strategic and well-written because it covers all gay areas. Mr. Blai writes fluidly and expertly as he lays out the evil nature of demons, their methods, and ability to oppress and possess humans. The demonic is a serious and maleficent topic and the author shows it the respect it deserves but also paints it scripturally. Mr. Blai states clearly that any there are spiritual prohibitions against necromancy (seances ghost hunting, et al), worshipping other gods (demons), mediums, and witchcraft. He points out mediums such as music, movies, books, secret organizations, and involvement in the occult. While laying this out, he emphasizes having a devout faith and commitment to following Christ. one of the other messages that the author delivers is not to get infatuated or obsessed with evil/the demonic.
The author spends the bulk of the middle part of the book on the various methods employed by demons against humans. He is quiet forward in this and paints a bleak picture of falling victim to these ploys. Unlike too many other authors of books such as this one, Mr. Blai does provide a detailed description of the different types of spiritual interventions against the demonic: exorcism (& deliverance), prayer, sacramental practice, and discernment of spirits. I found it refreshing that he differentiates between spiritual deliverance ( a Christian type of minor exorcism). he is quite adamant that only the Catholic clergy can perform 'exorcism.' This is not just a vernacular distinction but one of 'ministerial right and designation' because Jesus (who was an exorcist) only commissioned his Apostles ('priests') to perform this rite. Christians will argue that in the Holy Commission, Jesus directed believers to heal, pray and cast out demons. Regardless, the author is quite detailed in his stand and quotes several scriptures to back up his point.
The later part of the back is dedicated to resolving human spirit hauntings and demonic hauntings. He is also quite firm in the stand of the Catholic Church (and his) that those entities referred to as ghost by laypeople and 'ghost hunters and investigators are for the most part demonic spirits or 'familiar spirits.' This church stand puts many who practice this somewhat lucrative side 'spiritual business' on the defensive (stand made by author and embraced by me). But, the truth is the truth and those who claim to be Catholics/Christian are either devout and true to the tenets or rebels/heretics but that is a rabbit hole. Back to the book which is spot on in its descriptions of demonic oppression and possession. The commendable part of these sectional topics is that the author does not just raise the issues but he provides and details the solutions - investigation, counseling, invoking prayer, masses, and exorcism. I will not bore you with the details but will note he is quite detailed about the Roman Rite.
Adam Blai, the author also includes an in-depth account of his sojourn to graduate psychology student to paranormal investigator to prayer warrior to exorcism rite assistant to professional religious demonologist. He is quite frank about the challenges, supernatural attacks, visitations and demonic response to his journey into religious (Catholic) demonology and exorcism for the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese. He also touches on his involvement in The International Association of Exorcists with which he developed a connection and eventually became a member. This section provided connectivity and reason for the author's writing this book and stand. He is forthright and honest in detailing his own experiences and choice.
The author wraps up his book with a section on two biblical scriptures. First he focuses on Satan and his existence before the creation, his rebellion, his role in fall of man (& woman), his interference & interaction with mankind & God's plan of salvation, his subservient role, and his future. There is little doubt who is in control, it is God. He rules supreme but He allows 'free will' and Satan and his minions take advantage within limits of man's sinful nature. Mr. Blai illustrates this situation with scripture and church teachings. Second, the author deals with demonic possession and exorcism as depicted in the Bible. Jesus was an exorcist and He demonstrated it several times in the biblical scriptures. He never argued with demons or Satan, He commanded. Our Lord, Jesus also has authority over Satan and his minions (fallen angels/demons and others - sinful and unrepentant man). The author presents scripture in which Jesus gave this authority over demons to His disciples to exorcise/cast out them out, spiritually cleanse, and bless in His name. It is clear that authority can only be given by the Lord and one must be a devout believer in Jesus to carry out this spiritual ministry. The author also brings in Roman Catholic Church canon law as legal basis for only Catholic priests to perform these rites. It is also laid out that fasting, confession, prayer and following ritual must be adhered to in exorcisms. I concur because he is speaking of the Roman Rite of Exorcism. He does not question non-Catholic Christians performing spiritual deliverance which is still carrying out the Lord's commission to cast out demons. The author handles this differentiation quite well. He wraps up this final section with a focus on Satan's requests (i.e. temptations). It is clear that Jesus was in control here and not Satan whose mind is finite and limited. Jesus overcomes Satan's feeble power and attempts because He is supreme and Lord God over all, including Satan, a created angel. I found this to be one of the vital points made by the author.
The author does include a litany of prayers, the Abbreviated Office for the Dead, the Magnificat, Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, and Renunciations. There is also a glossary of terms for the novice or uninformed. He also has several books, articles and doctrines for further reading.
Overall, I rate this an excellent introduction into the demonic manifestations & possessions, and exorcism. It also is a good testament to the Lord's mercy and compassion for those suffering from demonic attacks and possession. This book is a very good but concise introduction to the subject matters.
Blai's work is enlightening as well as entertaining and provides a well-grounded counterpoint to the misinformation and myths prevalent in popular culture. It's an excellent primer on this esoteric subject that most people believe exists only in movies and novels. After providing the reader with basic background on demonology, Blai offers his bona fides, discusses several case histories, and provides a glossary of terms, pertinent prayers, and suggested additional readings. I recommend it highly.
Since the advent of paranormal television programming that caters to all things that go bump in the night, there has been a nonstop saturation of all things ghosts, spirits, demons, hauntings, possessions and a whole litany of other things. You could be changing the channel, and, guarantee, no matter what time of the day it is, a show will be on that has to do with the aforementioned. People who normally do not have an interest in this subject matter will inadvertently get caught up in the paranormal craze just because it is so in your face; you can’t help but watch, if only out of sheer boredom. But with that curiosity can come danger. Granted, a majority of people who experience the unknown are more often than not innocent bystanders who are caught in the crosshairs of something outside of their reality. But from occult shops to divination practices, to the Ouija Board and a whole assemblage of other darker practices, people have been confronted by things of a lower quality level. In Adam Blai’s excellent book, Hauntings, Possessions, And Exorcisms, he covers a vast terrain of how these happenings can come about and what to do about them. Confirmed as a Peritus of religious demonology and exorcism by the Catholic Church (a legitimate expert and teacher on this subject matter for Catholic clergy), his acuity in psychology and theology gives him a unique insight into this subject matter, an area that I certainly would not want to mess around with.
In his book, he addresses the importance of discernment, whether the issue at hand is medical oriented or a matter of mental illness. That is usually the case, but sometimes there is that percentage where something other is going on. Crossing that and other logical possibilities off the list, he focuses on the demonic and the manipulative tactics associated with it, the progress of infestation, oppression and possession. He writes about the doorways which can be opened that invited the demons into people’s lives, and the causes are not always what you think. The openness towards this realm surprisingly stems from human longings: curiosity, loneliness, powerlessness, revenge, companionship, and it can go on. There really is no singular reason, as there are many personal reasons why people open themselves up. But when the line is thrown into the water, what they get is often more dangerous and threatening than what they expected, for demons can manipulate how they are perceived, and they lie. They can show themselves as a human spirit and temporarily fill that longing that caused them to be brought forth in the first place. But that does not last long. With a bona fide human haunting, it is often a sprint in a state of purgation who is requesting prayer. There is no dark malfeasance or duplicity intended. When a case is certified as being demonic in nature, Blai then goes on to write about what the healing powers are; he writes about the importance of prayer, Scripture reading, the Sacraments and sacramentals. Confession is also key. Essentially, do what you can to move yourself to the light of Jesus Christ. Take preventive and corrective measures to heal and amend your life, for if you don’t, that is what the demonic feeds off of and also tries to heighten. It is easy because people, especially vulnerable people, seem more attracted to the darkness, and when they are thoroughly steeped in it, it can be like tar that sticks to you. Adam Blai goes into a lot more detail than what I can express. I think his knowledge, and that of any Catholic exorcist, is hard won. I certainly would not relish this kind of work. His own personal testimony of how he got into this work (at the end of the book) was especially interesting.
Blai concisely explains what laypeople should know about demons and how to prevent one from falling into their traps. He provides one with the necessary tools of skepticism in order to show that what most people consider "possessions" or "demonic possessions" are quite often unaddressed medical issues, tricks of the mind, etc. However, he does this without disregarding that demonic activity (possessions, oppressions, etc.) and hauntings are real occurrences. There are many Biblical references that are extrapolated on so that one may understand basic theology that deals with demons, exorcisms and how they work. angels, etc. Blai does a good job at convincing the reader that if one isn't of the clergy, they should refrain from trying to expel demons, let alone interact with them. This is useful as modern society is plagued with regular people trying to interact with demons or ghosts through rituals or seemingly harmless games. The book can oftentimes sound redundant as many of the same points are brought up continuously throughout the book, but it doesn't take away too much from the book itself. Good read, recommend to anyone who wants a better understanding of demonology from a Catholic point of view.
This book seems to be a good basic introduction to understanding the more extraordinary ways that the demons act in the world. It is a truly good and informative read.
Unfortunately, there are a few places in the text in which the meaning is unclear, apparently because the examples come from the recounting of personal experiences from which names are redacted; in a couple places, the antecedents of pronouns seem to be ambiguous, which I think may be limiting a fuller understanding of a few of the stories.
This book sets the record straight; cutting through all the lies and popular misunderstanding about demons and their activity. When you finish reading this, you will basically learn to leave all the work to the experts and not think that you can "take on the demons". It particularly warns against latest popular trends to consult with the dead and other outcome activity.
Well written, very factual and informative. All people who love God should read this book. These creatures do exist and lest you be tormented unawares, follow the suggestions for holy living. I did, and after 37 years of demonic oppression, I am rarely troubled because my one defense is Jesus, obedience to God and not forgetting we are in a war. Thank you Mr. Blai. Looking forward to your next book.
Having read the books of Father Amorth, it was with a grateful heart I devoured Mr. Bali's contribution on the subject. The realm of the spiritual is not a laughing matter and I sincerely hope those who need this information will read this book. I will continue to pray and ask the intercession of the Virgin Mary for those suffering, including myself.
It was a decent read but lacked specifics and dropped storylines quickly that would have been interesting to read. After reading the authors web page I gathered that he was too busy to help anyone who needed it or were reaching out to help others. Very sad as he was new to this calling at one point and got the help required. Be a mentor not a gate keeper.
This is an excellent introduction to demonology. Clearly and concisely written, and includes glossary of terms, a collection of prayers, references for further reading and more. Well done Adam Blai, your book is a tremendous consolation!
I definitely appreciate the author's immense knowledge of demonology. This book helped clear up any misunderstanding regarding the paranormal. Protect yourself. Do not communicate with the dead, demons, or apparations. Remain viligant and profoudly prayerful at all times.
Great introduction to a very confusing subject. We all have been overwhelmed by the Hollywood versions of this subjects, Adam Blai reclaims the subject and keeps it simple and real. A great intro for anyone interesting in the reality of the subject.
I picked this up in a Catholic bookstore in Rome last year, kind of as research for my own interests/writing. And kind of because I've never read anything by an actual exorcist.
The fact that this was written by a Catholic exorcist, who is/was also a mental health professional, makes it more terrifying than almost any horror fiction I've ever read. I had a hard time finishing it because it legitimately scared me.
I grew up in the Catholic church. And in college, European History (particularly heresy within the medieval church) was my major, so naturally, daemonology, witchcraft, and possession came up a lot. A good friend of mine studied history with me, and he always had the plan to graduate and go to seminary. We used to talk to the priest of our student center pretty extensively about exorcists and the place they inhabit within the church. So although I'm not necessarily a practicing Catholic anymore (or even a believing one? (though Blai would probably disagree with me there)), the respect I have for this field is pretty huge.
On the flip side, this is an absolutely fantastic nonfic accompaniment to the supernatural horror that exists today. Don't talk directly to the dead.
I definitely recommend this for anyone interested in religious horror, exorcisms (obviously), or is familiar with the Catholicism and the eternal struggle of good vs. evil.